We at Vison’s take pride in delivering qualitative products and services since 1998. This dedication has lead us to grow a sustainable business from the first steps of a 1000SEK investment to the current revenue of 2M SEK.
Our organic growth has taken us from the stands of a suburban flea market to a large and growing venue in the center of Stockholm. Today we are also present online and plan to treble the business coming from online sales. Through moving to a more central location we also aim to double our revenue from our brick-and-mortar store.
The problem this product solves
When we came to Sweden 1992 there were no hairdressers or beauty parlors that could cater to the needs of 50 000 people of African descent residing in Sweden. Since the hair and skin type of Africans have different texture and other characteristics from Europeans’, they also have different needs in terms of care and products. As these needs are exasperated in the Swedish climate, Africans in Sweden were in direct need of finding beauticians and places that knew how to take care of them.
How the product solves it
Vison’s Butik was founded to address the needs of people with African hair and skin through offering a unique assortment of hair and beauty products specifically created with Africans in mind. The personnel of Vison’s have long experience in working with the target audience as well as having a highly competitive sense of service. The combination of product, know-how and service has been the foundation for a successful business that attracts a loyal customer base and has become a pillar in the African community of Stockholm. It has also lead to strong relationships with e.g. Karolinska Institutet.
Vison’s is a one-stop-shop of beauty products for the African market in Stockholm. What started out being a small shop offering hair and beauty products has over the years grown to include a hair salon, web shop and has through it’s long experience in working with wigs and hair-extensions also become a an important supplier to the cancer patients through the partnership with Karolinska Institutet. Vison’s has through a dedicated team also maintained a cutting edge understanding for trends, exemplified by the recent focus on organic and poison free products which would be a first in the African beauty community.
Product use cases
For long our main target segment has been the everyday African woman who needs to buy her daily beauty products to maintain her hair and skin. But today, we also see a growing demand from people who have curly hair in general, regardless of origin, who find that the products of Vison’s are best suited to their hair type. Due to our specialization in wigs and extensions we have also become a favorite among cancer patients who benefit from our products in maintaining their dignity.
The target market of Vison’s will also in the future continue to be the African diaspora in Sweden which today exceeds 160.000 individuals. Today Vison’s, despite its prominent position, reaches a relatively small section of this target group. With a concerted effort in marketing, we plan to expand our brand awareness both for our physical store as well as our online outlet. Through our improved location and expanded inventory, we also aim to attract new target groups in the form through more drop-in customers as well aiming for people with curly hair outside the initial target.
Our competitors are a few physical shops in Stockholm and three web shops in Sweden. We are however alone in our niche on Södermalm and have a market leading position in the city as a whole. This superior brand awareness is due to our premier location, long experience, high level of service and wider inventory. While most competitors fail to invest in inventory and services, our long-term approach has grown our stable customer base allowing us to continuously build a superior inventory through re-investing profits. With the new funds we plan on building on this competitive advantage.
Unique differentiator from competitors
Factors that differentiate us from our competitors are location, brand, inventory, experienceand service. We are the only relevant company in our niche in the heart of Stockholm, ensuring a large flow of potential customers as well as making us easy to reach for our large customer base.
Another important advantage is the brand that we’ve established during almost 20 years. This brand has been built on our other advantages of experience, service and strong relationshipswith partners such as Karolinska Institutet and suppliers eg. Iman, Kantu etc. ensuring a strong inventory which never leaves customers unsatisfied.
Company revenue streams
Our business model is mainly a traditional brick and mortar retail store. We have strong relationships with suppliers of hair and skin products which we sell in our store on Repslagargatan. After a stable initial growth eight years ago we diversified into offering hair styling while expanding our premises.
Six years ago we brought the business into the new millenium by also launching our online store. The growing salon and online store now comprise 30% of our revenue and are reliable pillars of the business. Today we have a growing business with an average profit margin of approximately 40%.
We sell our products and services in our physical store as well as through our website, www.visonsbutik.com. Online, we also enable visitors to book appointments on the salon through the service Boka Direkt.
- In June 2004, Metro magazine wrote an article about Vison’s, highlighting the uniqueness of the salon and the products. Later the same year TV4 invited Vivat to the show “Morgonsoffan”, further strengthening the position of the business.
- Vison’s has experienced a stable and organic growth allowing us to go from one to three employees and to expand with a salon in 2006.
- Customers who could only find satisfactory wigs in Vison’s pushed Karolinska Institutet to make Vison’s an official partner for supplying their cancer patients with products in 2013. Vison’s, launched a web shop in 2010.
Next key objectives
The key objectives for Vison’s the coming years comprise mainly in capitalising on the brand while expanding our audience. This is it to be done by moving to new more central premises, investing in a larger inventory which we’ll buy in bulk (thereby lowering our cost of goods sold), and specialising in organic products. We also aim to double our sales in the physical store and treble the sales through our online store.
These changes will allow us to attract new audiences while maintaining the old customers and margins.
The only other financing that we have received is 60.000 SEK from ALMI in 1998.
- Karolinska Institutet (certified patient supplier of wigs and other hair products for cancer patients)
- Iman Cosmetics
- Cantu Shea Butter Cosmetics
- Mixed Chicks Curly Revolutions
Mentorships – Business development – Network
- ALMI – Loan, mentorship,
- Companion Cooperative
- SKAN (Sverige Kvinnliga AffärsNätverk)
- Maishagalan 2011 Sweden African Women of the Year Awards.
- All Nations Certificate of Merit. In Recognition of Vivat’s Contribution to Business in Sweden, July 31st 2015.
- Recognition from renowned Swedish celebrities such as Carola, Titiyo, Kayo and the rest of Afrodite, as well as international acts Britney Spears, Lady Saw.
- Also, we’ve catered to new and upcoming Swedish sensations Loreen and Mapei.
Use of Funds
We’re investing in organic, poison-free products. We also plan to expand the shelf-space offering a larger choice and lowering costs by buying in bulk.
300 000 SEK: Premises
Bigger facilities in an even more central location on Götgatan will allow us to increase customer flow, shelf space and local awareness. Discussions are already on their way with several real estate agents.
100 000 SEK: Promotion
A considerable amount of the money will be used to finance the marketing of the new venue, products as well as a re-launch of the website which is under construction.
The main source of energy and inspiration for the shop is the founder and manager Vivat Arvidsson. Before coming to Sweden, Vivat was working for the police force in Sierra Leone as a secretary for many years. After arriving in Sweden in -92, Vivat worked at different work places while trying to find her place and finally identified the opportunity in African hair and beauty products. Vivat is a determined, goal-oriented businesswoman with a passion for interacting with people. This drive has lead to studies in Computing, Business as well as hair dressing in London Academy. Vivat has two children and is married to one of the main partners in Vison’s Butik, Göte Arvidsson.
Kumba Kandeh is a resident trainee and is the stylist in charge of the salon at Vison’s butik. Kumba has lived in Sweden for five years and has been working with the rest of the team for a year and a half. She loves working with people and works closely with the rest of the management team. Today she manages the hair styling and the service offerings of Vison’s butik.
Göte Arvidsson is another force behind Vison’s and Vivat. He handles many of the administrational tasks that keeps the business moving. This includes procurement, accounting and consulting on the strategic plans of the organization.